Fiction Thoughts: In Hero Years…I’m Dead (2010)

by Jamie Downes

others

Author – Michael A. Stackpole

Genre – Superheroes, Action, Noir

Length – 325 Pages (Kindle Edition)

In Capital City, the superhero-laden setting of Michael A. Stackpole’s In Hero Years…I’m Dead, the opportunity to oppose a villain in a pre-planned crime is auctioned off to super-powered residents whose subsequent success or failure drives a socially popular and financially lucrative ranking system; prestige, endorsements and a legion of fans awaiting those at the top. Yet while this concept is fascinating in itself and an excellent backdrop for a superhero story, the execution is such that the novel simply becomes ever more of a chore to read the longer it goes. The disappointment of a shamefully underdeveloped plot is exacerbated by the confusion caused by the often random introduction of far too many indistinguishable characters, and even more so by their being referred to in a wildly inconsistent manner; the protagonist alone switching between what at the very least seemed like half-a-dozen different names. This, combined with a prosaic writing style that is poorly edited, means there is little to recommend ‘In Hero Years…’ beyond the under-utilised basic concept, one which could undoubtedly have seeped intrigue at every turn had it been penned with greater plot-focus and page-to-page creativity.

Rating: 2 / 5

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